BOARD REDUCES 14 DAYS TO 7, BUT …
Students at Freeman Public who are considered close contacts with a positive COVID-19 case are no longer excluded from school and school-related activities for 14 days — the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control that the district had been following.
Instead, that period of time has been shortened to seven days as long as students choosing to return to the building wear a mask at all times when physical distancing is not possible the remainder of those 14 days. Those who do not will be sent home.
That was the 5-0 decision of the Freeman Public School Board, which met in special session via Zoom Wednesday night, Nov. 11. The special session was called specifically to discuss school exclusion protocol as it relates to close contact situations, which Freeman Public has been dealing with in recent weeks.
Last week Thursday, Nov. 5, the majority of students in grades 6-9 were considered close contacts by the district after a teacher tested positive for COVID-19 and therefore excluded from the building and other school-related activities until the middle part of next week. Per board action Wednesday night, the seven days of exclusion will end on Thursday, Nov. 12.
The action of the board closely follows a policy adopted by the Avon School District that was shared by Kunz, which school officials unanimously supported.
The policy strikes a balance between giving close-contact students the opportunity for in-person learning if they so choose in a shorter amount of time while also taking into consideration those who are concerned about the spread of the virus.
“I think this is the best thing I’ve seen so far,” board member Mark Miller said of the Avon policy the Freeman board based its action on, saying it “gives them a choice.”
Wednesday’s action brings some unity to a board and administration that has been at odds on how to deal with the district’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Everybody needs to be on the same page,” Kunz told the board at the beginning of Wednesday’s special meeting. “We have to support everybody who is involved. If we can do that it’s doing to be a lot easier moving forward. Can we get to that point?”